Super Bowl XLIX: The commercials and halftime show


Super Bowl XLIX has come and gone, and with it came its now-famed commercials. Now that it’s the following day, we’re also getting the usual post-event analysis of social media’s reactions, the halftime show, etc.


This year’s ads felt rather melancholy and downbeat versus previous years, an odd approach given the nature of the Super Bowl (a festive event) and the sky-high cost of ads, $4.5 million for a 30-second ad.

In my opinion, the best ads this year were:

Avocados from Mexico: The ad features the “first draft pick,” with various animals and plants “drafted” to various parts of the world. I liked the polar bear hoping to get to go to Mexico.

The “lost dog” Budweiser ad: One of the ads that was uplifting without being depressing, this one focused on a lost dog. The famed Clydesdale horses also appear, of course.

The “live-action Pac-Man game” Budweiser ad: Nostalgic and weird, but fun.

Coca-Cola’s “Make it happy” ad: Another uplifting ad (and acknowledging cyberbullying) though I wouldn’t recommend spilling any liquid on your computer equipment.


  • American Family Insurance: They were pretty much the anti-Nationwide (see below).
  • Microsoft: Their ads showed their products helping people with disabilities, etc.
  • The Minions trailer: Because, well, the Minions are amusing.

The worst ads this year (which I won’t link):

  • Fiat’s ad: A car becomes a “better” car through a Viagra pill dropped into its gas tank. Um, yeah.
  • Carl’s Jr.: I must’ve missed this one (or it was a regional ad), but it fills the obligatory “crass objectification of women” ad this year.
  • GoDaddy: While the official ad this year was oddly tame (hard-working IT professionals), GoDaddy did make news for an ad it pulled before this year’s airing—a parody of the Budweiser ad, only with a joke involving puppy mills. The sensitivity I’d expect from a company whose CEO engages in elephant hunting. Why anyone would use GoDaddy for domain/website hosting needs when there’s a myriad of better companies available, I have no idea…
  • Nationwide: This was pretty much the worst ad of the evening, hands-down. A kid describes the life he has, or would’ve had if he hadn’t been…killed. By something no amount of insurance would’ve prevented or assisted. Not only is it bleak and doesn’t sell their product, but it comes off as offensive.

Halftime show

Katy Perry, Missy Elliott, and Lenny Kravitz were this year’s halftime show stars, with Katy getting top billing. However, this was one of the weirdest halftime shows I’ve ever seen; I was about to change channels to the Puppy Bowl, but then I saw stuff like, well, this:

Katy Perry and sharks


Which spurred me and others on Twitter to have fun making various references to our old pal, 70s Hanna-Barbera cartoon star Jabberjaw:


I did see a few remarks about “Jaws 19” (from “Back to the Future II”), and a meme’s emerged centering around the left shark’s performance, but I like the Jabberjaw jokes the best.

Social media

Social media analysis is also here. GeekWire notes that the three most popular ads based on YouTube views were:

  1. The Budweiser “lost dog” ad
  2. The Budweiser “Pac-Man” ad
  3. An ad for T-Mobile with Kim Kardashian

Engadget states that while this year saw a record amount of Super Bowl tweets on Twitter, they still pale versus last year’s World Cup. Of course, soccer’s the world’s most popular sport, versus the limited appeal of American football.

Missy Elliott saw the biggest spike in Spotify and iTunes song popularity, to a bigger degree than Katy Perry. Of course, part of that might be from Perry being a more prominent musician than Elliott these days, but Perry’s trappings (dancing sharks, etc.) seem more talked about (on Twitter at least) than Perry herself. Still, both performers seem to have gotten more attention than Lenny Kravitz; unlike Katy Perry and Missy Elliott, his songs/albums aren’t on iTunes’ top 10 lists.

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